Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Hot rich Chocolate drinks and conversations

Hot chocolate
Baguio has been my second home since my sisters and nephews have been based there for about two decades now. I have been there on a regular basis but I have toured the place about twice when my wife and daughter first went there in the 90's and when we had our family reunion in 2010. 

My daughter and my nephews have gone the round of some of the coffee shops and restos around the summer capital but my wife and I have never really spent the time touring the city's attractions. I'm too lazy (or too poor) to move around. 

I guess being familiar with the place, I have lost the curiosity and the excitement of a tourist. I have gone there just to relax and decompress in the serenity of the Philippine Baptist Theology Seminary's campus at my sister's faculty house.

Image result for ricoa cocoa powder
My idea of a chocolate drink.
Chocolate de Batirol. 

I have never even heard of the place until it was mentioned with the conversations inside the van. My good friend Engr. Aris Borja and his wife Jenny invited my family for a cup of chocolate. My experience of chocolate drink is limited to Ovaltine and Milo or Alvin's Cocoa and Ricoa which my parents used to cook champurado. So, my idea of a chocolate drink is limited to the diluted and over sweetened instant chocolate drink.

The shop offered a variety of chocolate drink and food but since I am not that familiar with the coco-cocktail they serve, my wife and I settled for the traditional coco drink. When the cups arrived, the aroma was so good and powerful that it overcame my active rhinitis, which desensitizes, to a degree, my olfactory sense. The aroma brings back childhood memories of my cooking mother champurado and monsoon rains.

Hot choco and converstions. Jolo, my friends son, forgot his
Iphone there and the crew was honest enough to make
 sure the phone was returned. This gotta count for something.
Anyway, the first sip was confusing, being a virgin, I guess. I was expecting sweetness, which is the primary taste that I got used to, but instead my palate was treated to a grainy, thick bitter-sweet chocolate that it took me some time to process the conflicting thoughts my head was going through reconciling what I have been used to to what is being introduced now. I had to overcome my Milo and Ovaltine conditioning. I had to update my taste buds, so to speak. 

I let the liquid roll around my mouth. I had the same experience with brewed coffee. The first time I drank brewed coffee I almost threw up because I was so used to weak, over-sweetened instant coffee that when I drank my first sip of brewed sugarless coffee, the strong bitter taste triggered my gag reflex. But now, I like brewed coffee (but I could live without it, I mean, I knew people who could not survive without a dose of it.) 

But the rich chocolate drink unsettled some nerves in my stomach. I guess with the pizza and hot sauce, donut, coffee, and an earlier heavy lunch in near successions, the menagerie of food stuff in the digestive sac sort of declared war against each other. 

But I survived for the next stop, live music,  a bottle of light beer and sisig. Another story...

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